Learning More About Greys!
By Robyn Stone
Second in a Series
This article features the rescue group Kansas City Retired Greyhounds as Pets (KCREGAP). KCREGAP is a not for profit 501c3 organization dedicated to finding loving homes for retired greyhounds. Since its inception in 1990 we have placed nearly 5,000 dogs into loving homes in the Kansas City metro area.
This non-profit organization is dedicated to transforming retired racing greyhounds into pampered pets. KCREGAP’s mission is to find homes for as many greyhounds as possible, without consideration for their age, health, disabilities or circumstances, their forever homes while maintaining a high quality of care, safe and superior housing, and appropriate adoption standards.
At any particular time, KCREGAP has between 10-15 adoptable greyhounds, ranging in age from around one year up to 10 years of age. Some of these dogs have raced at tracks around the country and then are returned to the breeding farms in Abilene, KS when they are no longer successful racers. Others are come to us directly from these breeding farms if they don’t prove to be racing material, or are former brood mamas. Even though greyhound racing no longer exists in the state of Kansas, there are still many greyhounds in need of homes. We also occasionally get dogs from as far away as Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.
Stop One — The Vets Office
When the greyhounds come to KCREGAP, they are provided any needed veterinary care including: spay/neuter, vaccinations, dental cleaning, heartworm preventative, treatment for internal parasites, treatment for tickborne diseases. There are times that we get dogs who need more extensive care or who have serious injuries. Late last year, we got a dog who we named Phantom. Phantom came to KCREGAP with a nasty shoulder wound. The wound had to be cleaned and sutured, then bandaged. Like many of the new greyhounds we get, Phantom initially went to Pooches Paradise, who then transported him to the vet for bandage and dressing changes every other day. He was also on quite a bit of medication, and had to wear a muzzle with an end-cap, as well as t-shirt to keep him from tearing off the bandages and potentially damaging the wound. Because the wound had to be protected and allowed to heal, Phantom wasn’t allowed to go out and play with his grey buddies at Pooches Paradise, and was only allowed to go on walks or go outside by himself while being monitored by Pooches’ staff. Phantom was amazingly stoic and tolerant of the bandage changes, but did start to get depressed having to spend so much time in his kennel. To help him out of his depression, Phantom got to spend time hanging out in the office at Pooches, making sure that things were running smoothly. As his wound healed, Phantom got to enjoy more supervised play time with his grey buddies. This lucky boy got the best Christmas present ever — a forever home!
Stop Two — Foster Homes
Most greyhounds are placed in foster homes as soon as a spot becomes available. They stay with their foster families until they find forever homes. The foster homes are an integral part of helping the dogs successfully transition to their forever homes. Most greyhounds have never lived in houses, so foster homes are often their first encounter with stairs, glass doors, mirrors, toys. The foster families teach the greyhounds house manners and rules, making it much easier for the dogs to adjust to life once they move to their forever homes.
One of the responsibilities of the foster families is to take the greyhounds to meet and greets. KCREGAP has meet and greet events several times per month, hosted by pet friendly businesses, such as Treats Unleashed, who supports local rescue and adoption groups. In addition to the meet and greet events, Treats Unleashed has also hosted pictures with the Easter Bunny and pictures with Santa, with brave KCREGAP volunteers playing the part of the Easter Bunny and Santa, with proceeds going to the greyhounds to help with such things as veterinary care and kennel expenses.
Stop Three — Adoption
The meet and greet events provide an opportunity for the greyhounds to interact with the public. Many people have never met a greyhound in person, and are often surprised by how calm and sweet the dogs are. One common misconception about greyhounds is that they need a lot of room to run or need a lot of exercise. In reality, greyhounds are lovingly known as “40 mph couch potatoes”— content to take a lap or two around the backyard, then snooze on a soft bed or couch for the remainder of the day. This is just one of the reasons that greyhounds make great pets.
By nature, these dogs are docile, loving and calm. They’re also “low maintenance” dogs who don’t require much grooming. Because they have so little hair and body fat, greyhounds are strictly indoor dogs. Greyhounds are also a fairly healthy breed, not prone to any particular health issues. Greyhounds are sighthounds. They can spot movement up to a half-mile away, and can reach full speed in just a few strides, so can never be trusted to be off-lead in an unenclosed area, no amount of training can undo that instinct. Although they are sighthounds, greyhounds are not are good watchdogs — they’re quite happy to stay on their soft, comfy beds!
Calling All Volunteers
KCREGAP is an all-volunteer organization, and it relies on donations, grants, and fundraisers throughout the year to cover the cost of caring for dogs. KCREGAP is one of the charity partners with the Hospital Hill Run which will take place on June 1, 2013. Not only does this event help to raise much-needed funds for the greyhounds, the greyhounds are able to personally thank 10,000 plus participants and their families who stop by our booth at the pre-race Health & Fitness Expo, as well as our race day booth in Charity Village.
To donate to “Team KCREGAP,” please go to www.active.com/donate/HHR2013. Please email
for more information on this event, or for information about adopting a greyhound or volunteering for KCREGAP.
Robyn Stone is the director of Kansas City Retired Greyhounds as Pets. Robyn has loved greyhounds since she was young. She and her husband, Peter Maharry, adopted their first greyhound in 2006, and started volunteering for KCREGAP shortly thereafter. Robyn and Peter share their home with 2 adopted greyhounds, a whippet and an Italian Greyhound, and usually at least one foster greyhound.